Sunday, March 26, 2017

Orchestrated Protests in Russia

Orchestrated Protests in Russia

by Stephen Lendman

They aim to weaken Putin’s overwhelming popularity - acts of futility, always failing. Yet they erupt sporadically, again on Sunday. More on this below.

Over 80% of Russians want no one else leading them. He’ll likely run for reelection next year, easily winning overwhelmingly.

When occasional politically motivated protests erupt, foreign interference is the usual suspect. 

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen earlier cited an unnamed Eastern European intelligence source, saying the CIA, Britain’s MI-6 and George Soros finance anti-Putin dissident groups.

Staged protests and other tactics used to try weakening his public support never worked. He’s respected for straight talk, challenging US imperialism, and protecting Russian interests.

Political analyst Alexander Dugin called him “irreplaceable.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he’s the guarantor of the “Russian world.”

Russian media praise his ideological beliefs and commitment to protect state interests - jeopardized by US-led Western imperial objectives

His multi-polarity advocacy stands in stark contrast to America’s unipolar aims. Millions of Russians fear what will happen to them and their country if he’s not around.

On Sunday, a Moscow police spokesman up to 8,000 took part in an unauthorized opposition rally in central Moscow - on the pretext of opposing corruption.

More than 100 participants were detained, including Western darling Alexey Navalny - a phony anti-corruption activist, a convicted embezzler, a self-serving opportunist, a convenient Western stooge. 

He’s likely getting State Department funding through the so-called National Endowment for Democracy (NED) - for disruptive activities.

It’s prominently involved in orchestrating color revolutions, wanting pro-Western puppet regimes replacing sovereign independent governments.

Earlier polls showed his popularity at 4%. He’s more politically dead than alive. Yet when incidents like Sunday’s protests occur, he’s usually part of them.

He was detained along with others. Moscow authorities rejected his rally application, saying its intended central city location would be disruptive.

They offered less congested locations. Navalny refused. Moscow’s Interior Ministry City Directorate warned residents against participating in Sunday’s unlicensed event.

It took place anyway. Participants failed to disperse when ordered. Navalny and others were detained, charged with an administrative code violation pertaining to public gatherings, then released pending further action.

They can be fined, ordered to perform community service, or administratively detained.

Smaller protests took place in St. Petersburg and other Russian cities, evidence that the disruptive events were coordinated, likely foreign sources involved in orchestrating and funding them.

They’re part of longstanding destabilization activities, aiming for regime change, corruption allegations used as a pretext to launch them - authorities not fooled nor many Putin supporters.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT Editors Support Endless US Wars

NYT Editors Support Endless US Wars

by Stephen Lendman

All US wars in multiple theaters are illegal - naked aggression against nations threatening no one, waged without Security Council authorization.

Without it, wars are a high crime against peace, Nuremberg-level criminality, America guilty repeatedly, immune from accountability.

The Times supports all US wars of aggression and others planned, ignoring their illegality and millions of casualties, civilians mostly harmed.

Young children in US war theaters never knew a day of peace, endless conflict savagery alone, including the deaths of fathers, mothers, siblings, other loved ones and friends - their lives shattered before beginning.

The Times pretends America is waging war on terrorism, ignores its support for the scourge it claims to oppose.

Its editors lied, saying “the American military is doing its job.” In all US conflict theaters, it’s operating illegally, waging war on humanity.

“…Congress is refusing to do its duty,” Times editors claimed. “(L)awmakers have ducked their constitutional responsibility for making war by not passing legislation authorizing the anti-ISIS fight.”

Fact: Security Council members alone may authorize warmaking - only in self-defense from an attack or imminent one, never preemptively for any reason.

Fact: Neither Congress or presidents may legally declare war on other nations without Security Council authorization.

Fact: No US war on ISIS or other terrorist groups exists. America supports this scourge. It’s not combating it.

Times editors: “The United States can claim a legal basis for its involvement in Iraq because Baghdad sought American help…”

Fact: False! Baghdad is an illegitimate US-installed puppet regime. So is Afghanistan’s regime and others elsewhere. They have no legal authority to permit US war in their territory.

Times editors: “Past efforts to enact a new ISIS-related authorization of military force (AUMF) have been stymied because of congressional fecklessness.”

Fact: AUMF is illegal - earlier and now if again enacted, what Times editors suppress.

Congressional members and presidents have no legal authority to permit military operations in violation of the UN Charter and other relevant international law - automatically constitutional law under the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).

The Times is a longtime wealth, power and privilege agent, supporting what inflicts enormous harm on humanity - featuring fake news, not the real thing.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

US Support Lets Global Terrorism Flourish

US Support Lets Global Terrorism Flourish

by Stephen Lendman

America created ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups. It maintains support for the scourge it claims to oppose.

Its so-called war on terrorism is a fabricated hoax. The way to defeat it isn’t by terror-bombing cities to rubble on the phony pretext of combating it.

It’s by ending support. Without it from America, NATO, Israel and other regional rogue states, these groups will wither and fade away.

Instead, they flourish because Washington uses them as imperial foot soldiers. Instead of cooperating with Russia in combating them, America and its rogue allies continue supplying them with weapons, munitions and other material support.

At her weekly press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova praised the constructive conflict resolution approach shown by Syria.

Opposition representatives aren’t cooperating, she explained, saying:

“We unfortunately must note - and this is obvious - that not all parties are pleased with the fact that the political process has restarted.” 

“We regularly record attempts to stymie its progress through certain representatives of the opposition who are continuing to make all sorts of preconditions verging on ultimatums.” 

“The militants are continuing to receive arms and ammunition, new members of criminal groups and, above all, funding from abroad.”

Zakharova blasted America, Britain and France for “refus(ing) to condemn the bloody terrorist attacks in Damascus (earlier) in March and the suppression of these events, as well as of the use of chemical agents by ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq…”

They reject “tak(ing) effective steps to confront the terrorist threat, which remains extremely high.”

“Clearly, not all parties want peace in Syria,” she stressed. Without naming names, she means America, Britain, France, Israel, other regional rogue states and terrorists they support.

She expressed outrage over new US sanctions on eight Russian companies for engaging in what the State Department calls “proliferation” activity with Iran, Syria and North Korea, saying:

“This step runs counter to the statements we hear from Washington that emphasize the fight against terrorism, in particular in Syria, where it has gained a foothold.” 

“On the contrary, it is completely at odds with such declarations and undermines the prospects of setting up comprehensive multilateral cooperation to destroy Islamic State and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to all countries, including the US.”

Talks to resolve Syria’s conflict began in 2012. Multiple rounds in Geneva from then to now failed - no breakthroughs achieved, no face-to-face negotiations.

Ongoing Geneva IV and Astana, Kazakhstan talks remain stalemated. Syrian army-rebuffed attacks by US-supported terrorists trying to reach central Damascus aimed to undermine peace efforts.

Despite years of futility, chief Syrian negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari stressed his delegation will never cease working for resolving years of conflict diplomatically.

Yet he said continued “terrorist attacks…are pushing everybody towards a total failure and fiasco in the political and diplomatic process.”

He blasted the illegitimacy of US troops and terror-bombing in northern Syria, explaining government and allied forces, greatly aided by Russian airpower, alone are combating terrorism.

America’s “assault on Raqqa is unlawful if not coordinated with Damascus,” he stressed.

Washington wants Raqqa destroyed, not liberated, the same strategy employed in attacking Mosul.

Endless US wars continue in multiple theaters, Trump as committed to militarism and aggression as his predecessors. 

Prospects for resolving conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are dim. War profiteers want them continued endlessly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trumpcare Postmortems

Trumpcare Postmortems

by Stephen Lendman

House failure to pass Trumpcare wasn’t an administration Waterloo, but it complicates its plans for tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other issues.

Healthcare savings by repealing and replacing Obamacare were counted on to help finance Trump’s other major programs.

Friday’s defeat cost him political capital and momentum. His touted dealmaking prowess failed its first major test. 

What’s ahead won’t get easier. His legislative agenda sustained a major body blow. 

Plans called for repealing and replacing Obamacare, followed by comprehensive tax reform (largely benefitting business and privileged elites), then creation of a $1 trillion infrastructure program, a thinly veiled privatization scheme.

Things aren’t going as planned. Trumpcare’s defeat complicates things. On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “tax reform (now is) more difficult.”

Most Republicans want it to be revenue neutral, not easily achieved without help from Trumpcare savings.

Ryan proposed taxing imports as a possible solution. If imposed, a trade war could follow, along with higher consumer prices. Hard-pressed retailers oppose the idea.

Ahead of Friday’s outcome, New York magazine said Trumpcare’s failure would be “a stinging defeat” for the president, worse for Paul Ryan - “who has all but staked his Speakership on passing this bill.”

Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon could emerge “the big winner” from Friday’s outcome. He’s “been waging war against Ryan for years.” Trumpcare’s failure may be his best chance to “topple” him and advance his own agenda.

While publicly supporting the measure, he “talked it down…privately…in recent days,” unhappy because it “d(idn’t) drive down costs, (was) written by the insurance industry,” and didn’t go as far as he wished to “deconstruct the administrative state.”

The dust is still settling from Friday’s defeat. Trump’s dealmaking prowess failed him. Ryan’s Speakership powers couldn’t enlist enough GOP support for the new administration’s first major legislative test.

Maybe more key defeats will follow. Ahead, ordinary people won’t benefit from administration and congressional policies exclusively serving America’s privileged class at their expense. 

It’s the same whether Republicans or Democrats are in power - a bipartisan conspiracy against equity and justice for all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Is Israel Provoking More War on Gaza?

Is Israel Provoking More War on Gaza?

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout its sordid history, Israel got away mass murder and targeted assassinations repeatedly, flagrant international law violations, committed unaccountably.

On Friday, senior Hamas member  Mazen Fuqahaa was assassinated in Gaza City’s Tal al-Hawa neighborhood.

According to eyewitnesses, unknown assailants shot him four times in the head before fleeing. In 2011, he was freed along with other Palestinian political prisoners in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Exiled to Gaza, he was likely closely monitored. According to Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar, “(t)he Israeli enemy operates a number of spies and mercenaries in the Gaza Strip, whom we will hopefully get rid of. A major operation must get underway in order to identify all those responsible for the recent criminal act.”

“There is no ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel, meaning that the two sides are technically at war. The flames of a confrontation could ignite anytime” at Israel’s discretion.

A statement by Hamas military wing Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades said “(t)he Israeli regime is the architect of the latest criminal act.” 

“The Israeli enemy seeks to impose its equation of terror through targeted killing of our brave resistance fighters.” 

“We will abort such attempts though. The occupier regime of al-Quds will eventually regret its conduct. They should know if you play with fire, you get burned.” 

Senior Hamas official Khalik al-Hayya promised retaliation, saying “(i)f the enemy thinks that this assassination will change the balance of power, then it should know the minds of Qassam will be able to retaliate in kind.”

Hezbollah called Fuqahaa’s assassination a provocative Zionist crime. Thousands of Palestinians turned out for his funeral.

His father said “Israeli intelligence officers came to our house many times, (warning) Mazen would be liquidated if he continued” resisting occupation harshness.

Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said escalating Israeli violations - including airstrikes and cross-border incursions - are reminiscent of incidents preceding its devastating 2014 Operation Protective Edge aggression.

Are ongoing Israeli provocations prelude to more mass slaughter and destruction? 

Beleaguered Gazans have no safe havens when attacked - victims of Israeli viciousness.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Netanyahu Rejects Curbing Settlement Construction

Netanyahu Rejects Curbing Settlement Construction

by Stephen Lendman

After four days of talks between US and Israeli officials in Washington, nothing was achieved on slowing or curbing illegal settlement construction - entirely on stolen Palestinian land.

No US administration ever made concerted efforts to restrain Israeli lawlessness. On Friday, a joint statement by both sides was more double-talk than straight talk, saying:

“The United States delegation reiterated President Trump’s concerns regarding settlement activity in the context of moving towards a peace agreement.”

“The Israeli delegation made clear that Israel’s intent going forward is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes those concerns into consideration. The talks were serious and constructive, and they are ongoing.”

“(C)oncrete near-term measures (were discussed) to improve the overall climate in order to advance the prospects for a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Translation: Settlement construction will continue unimpeded. Trump intends doing nothing to halt or slow it - showing disdain for Palestinian rights like his predecessors.

Chances for “genuine and lasting peace between” both sides ahead are zero. Israel rejects it. So does Washington. Neither will admit what’s been clear for decades. Talks when initiated are dead-on-arrival every time. Nothing in prospect suggests improvement.

Trump’s negotiating team was headed by Zionist zealot Jason Greenblat. He and likeminded US ambassador to Israel David Friedman support unlimited settlement expansions on lawlessly annexed Palestinian land.

Both one-sidedly support Israel at the expense of fundamental Palestinian rights. Their public comments suggest one thing, Trump administration actions another.

During his White House meeting with Netanyahu last month, Trump’s comments on Israeli settlements were weak-kneed, saying “I’d like to see you hold back on (them) for a little bit.”

Netanyahu took it as a green light for unlimited construction - with no price to pay for his actions.

A Final Comment

On Thursday, bipartisan House and Senate legislation was introduced to fine companies boycotting Israel and its settlements.

The so-called Israel Anti-Boycott Act was prompted, in part, by UN Human Rights Council efforts to create a database of companies dealing with Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On Thursday, an HRC resolution urged companies to end ties to settlements, illegal under international law.

Congressional Zionist zealots want BDS influence undermined. Perhaps future legislation will call its activities illegal, criminalizing supporters.

Congressional action came days before AIPAC’s annual conference, scheduled for March 26 - 28. 

House and Senate members scheduled to speak want something to show their fealty to the rogue Jewish state, complicit with its high crimes.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump Approves Environmentally Destructive Keystone XL Pipeline

Trump Approves Environmentally Destructive Keystone XL Pipeline

by Stephen Lendman

Supplying America’s energy needs at the expense of environmental destruction is a bad tradeoff.

Trump ignored certain adverse consequences of his actions. In February, he approved completion of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction, endangering sacred Standing Rock Sioux Tribe ancestral land, water and wildlife habitat, along with communities, farmland and other sensitive areas.

On Friday, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon announced Trump’s authorization to construct the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL), a project Center for Biological Diversity executive director Kieran Suckling calls “disastrous.”

Trump’s hyperbole ill-serves him. Calling KXL an “incredible pipeline” ignores certain disaster it’ll cause.

Saying the project is “a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence is a bald-faced lie on three-counts.

Greenpeace called Trump’s authorization a signal, showing Washington “is moving backwards when it comes to climate and energy.”

Along with other environmental groups, it vowed to keep challenging the project. Earth Justice called approving its construction the “latest in a string of decisions ignoring facts, public opinion and the law.”

Its vice president of litigation for climate & energy Abigail Dillen said Trump’s “decision defies all logic, not to mention the wishes of 75% of Americans who want our leaders to regulate climate pollution.”

Its president Trip Van Noppen said Earth Justice “will be working overtime in the courts to hold President Trump and his administration accountable under our nation’s laws, which protect Americans’ right to a clean and healthy environment.”

KXL is a hugely controversial 1,661-mile Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, TX pipeline, intended to transport dirty tar sands oil - what shouldn’t be produced in the first place.

The danger lies in pipeline construction and use passing through environmentally sensitive areas in six states. They include waterways and the Ogallala Aquifer.

It’s one of the world’s largest, supplying about 30% of America’s irrigation ground water - a vital natural resource.

Friends of the Earth said KXL “will carry one of the world’s dirtiest fuels: tar sands oil.” Its route “could devastate ecosystems and pollute water sources, and would jeopardize public health.”

It’ll double America’s dirty tar sands oil supply. Environmental toxicity will increase exponentially. Big Oil wants it. So do Republicans and many Democrats.

Environmentally destructive TransCanada Corp. will build it - notorious for spill-prone construction.

It promised its Keystone I pipeline would leak at most once every seven years. In year one, it leaked 12 times, once a month on average, unprecedented in US pipeline history.

NASA scientist James Hansen called KXL “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” All pipelines spill. Avoidance is impossible. Large-scale environmental damage is too great a price to pay.

Clean air, water and soil are far more precious to humanity than any amount of oil or other fossil fuels.

KXL construction assures environmental contamination. It’s just a matter of how severe. Serving Big Oil’s interests harms the heath and welfare of ordinary people.

KXL will transport the dirtiest oil on the planet. It’s hard, expensive and energy-sensitive to produce.

It’ll kill more jobs than it creates. It isn’t in the national interest, just profiteers standing to benefit.

Trump is their ally. He’s no friend of the earth or millions of ordinary Americans.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The NYT Downplays Indiscriminate US Mass Slaughter of Civilians

The NYT Downplays Indiscriminate US Mass Slaughter of Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, Turkey’s Anadolu (news) Agency cited Iraqi General Thaer Mosawi, saying over 22,000 Mosul residents were wounded since US-orchestrated combat operations began last October, based on hospital admissions - nearly 4,000 killed since mid-February alone.

Civilians able to flee the city to relative safety report high noncombatant casualties - people as terrified by US terror-bombing as ISIS.

This information flies in the face of Pentagon reports and supportive media scoundrels - ignoring or downplaying ongoing horrors.

Mosul is being systematically raped and destroyed on the phony pretext of liberating the city from ISIS control. Most of its area fighters were relocated to Syria, America and its allies aiding them, using them as imperial foot soldiers, along with other terrorist groups.

In reporting on endless US aggression, The New York Times and other media scoundrels function as virtual Pentagon press agent.

On Friday, The Times headlined “US Investigating Mosul Strikes Said to Have Killed Up to 200 Civilians.”

Fact: The body count reached at least 237. It’s rising as more remains are pulled from rubble.  Maybe three or four hundred were killed from this one incident alone.

Fact: Whenever the Pentagon announces an investigation into one of its attacks killing civilians, whitewash follows every time.

Fact: US rules of engagement consider civilians legitimate targets, flagrantly violating international and constitutional law.

The Times: CENTCOM spokesman “Col. John J. Thomas…said that the military was seeking to determine whether the explosion in Mosul might have been prompted by an American or coalition airstrike, or was a bomb or booby trap placed by the Islamic State.”

Fact: Eyewitnesses blamed the mass slaughter on US terror-bombing, not ISIS. These incidents happen repeatedly, some more severe than others.

Fact: The Pentagon tries shifting blame for its war crimes to others. Media scoundrels fail to hold it accountable for mass slaughter and destruction in all US war theaters.

Devastation wherever America shows up attests to its viciousness. 

The lives and welfare of defenseless civilians don’t matter - nor to media scoundrels largely ignoring appalling human suffering.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trumpcare Down But Not Out?

Trumpcare Down But Not Out?

by Stephen Lendman

On Friday, one of Trump’s signature domestic programs was defeated, at least for now. 

Acknowledging defeat, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “Obamacare is the law of the land.” It’ll remain so “for the foreseeable future…until it’s replaced,” suggesting AHCA’s Friday defeat isn’t the end of the story, what’s next yet to be decided.

A scheduled Friday House vote was cancelled because of too much GOP opposition to overcome. Democrats unanimously rejected it.

Ahead of what happened, Trump tweeted “(a)fter seven horrible years of ObamaCare (skyrocketing premiums & deductibles, bad healthcare), this is finally your chance for a great plan!”

Enactment of Trumpcare would have been nightmarish for most US households. In mid-March, the Economic Policy Institute said “99% of Americans…win if the GOP health plan fails.”

Its original and revised versions offered bare bones coverage at higher cost for most Americans, including onerous deductibles and co-pays - low income households, the poor and elderly harmed most.

Instead of providing healthcare on the basis of need, Obamacare made it dependent on the ability to pay, Trumpcare more nightmarish if enacted into law.

The president blamed Democrats for not “giv(ing) us a single vote,” adding the “best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It’s exploding right now…Almost all states have big problems.”

They’d be far bigger under his plan, a deplorable scheme to deny millions of Americans vital healthcare because predatory costs are more than they can afford.

Trump saying in the wake of his legislative defeat “(w)e have big, ambitious plans to improve people’s lives” is utter rubbish.

They include tax cuts for business and the rich, increased defense spending when major cuts are needed, endless wars of aggression in multiple theaters, deregulation stripping away consumer protections, wasting billions on border wall construction, and other policies benefitting America’s privileged class at the expense of most others.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) called the American Health Care Act (AHCA - Trumpcare) “slash and burn” coverage.

PNHP president Dr. Carol Paris said his plan if enacted “would have pushed millions more Americans off their health insurance, sending the rates of medical bankruptcy and preventable deaths skyrocketing.”

AHCA’s failure presents an opportunity for Congress to replace Obamacare with sustainable and equitable universal single-payer coverage, PHNP stressed.

Along with others for healthcare coverage the way it should be, PNHP intends a National Day of Action on Saturday, April 8 in Washington.

Similar actions are planned in a dozen or more US cities nationwide to enlist public support for single-payer coverage serving everyone equitably - unrelated to the ability to pay.

Trump’s promise to provide affordable healthcare for everyone was a Big Lie. Calling nightmarish AHCP “wonderful” alone proved it.

Poorly regulated US marketplace medicine caused today’s healthcare crisis - putting profits above vital care, especially when most needed.

As long as Republicans and Democrats continue defending the indefensible, Americans will continue being oppressed by pay or die healthcare.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Millions in US War Theaters Face Starvation

Millions in US War Theaters Face Starvation

by Stephen Lendman

According to the ICRC, about 20 million people in Yemen and Somalia face starvation without vitally needed food aid, mostly not forthcoming, saying:

“This is not business as usual.” Crisis conditions in both countries need to be addressed “now.” Cholera “on the rise in Somalia (alone is killing about) 20 people…each day.”

US drone war takes a horrendous toll. Obama’s war in Yemen, complicit with Riyadh, now Trump’s war, took a horrendous toll on civilians for the past two years.

Reporting on years of covert US war on Somalia, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said elite US troops are involved in “surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault and capture operations,” including devastating drone war, mostly harming civilians.

The CIA operates secretly from Mogadishu airport. In recent years, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces invaded parts of the country, serving as US proxies. A virtually unreported war OF terror remains ongoing.

Oxfam reported “millions on the brink of starvation” in east Africa, Yemen, and northeast Nigeria - “an unprecedented and devastating food crisis” largely unaddressed.

Millions are starving, tens of millions desperately hungry, malnutrition harming young children most. Oxfam call the crisis “the largest hunger emergency in the world.”

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, “emergency” or “crisis” food insecurity affects 17 million Yemenis.

Oxfam said almost seven million Yemenis face starvation, the country facing “the worst humanitarian situation on the globe…”

With US support and encouragement, Saudi terror-bombing destroyed “(p)orts, roads and bridges, along with warehouses, farms and markets.”

Blockaded coastal areas prevents vital humanitarian aid from entering the country. Inadequate amounts are airlifted in. Horrendous human suffering and famine stalk the nation.

Many thousands perished. Official numbers way understate the human toll. 

It could run into the millions if conflict doesn’t end - now Trump’s war, mostly harming desperate civilians, an entire generation of Yemenis affected.

Human desperation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other countries devastated by US imperial viciousness compounds crisis conditions explained above.

Media scoundrels ignore their suffering and US responsibility for what’s going on - part of its diabolical plan to rule the world unchallenged.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Marine Le Pen in Moscow

Marine Le Pen in Moscow

by Stephen Lendman

French presidential candidate Le Pen’s far-right agenda warrants plenty of criticism. 

So does the deplorable way France is now run. The same goes for America and other Western countries - responsible for enormous harm to millions domestically and abroad, a nightmarish assault on humanity.

Le Pen’s meeting with Putin in Moscow deserves praise, not criticism, despite her political motive for coming.

She hopes her advocacy for improved relations with Russia, along with wanting sanctions she calls “unfair…silly (and) counterproductive” lifted will boost her popularity in the eyes of large numbers of undecided French voters.

First round voting is scheduled for April 23. Polls show Le Pen ahead of her two main rivals, though unlikely to win a May runoff.

Media scoundrels wants her vilified for meeting with a leader Washington and rogue NATO allies consider public enemy No. 1. More on this below.

During their meeting, Putin explained she came at the invitation of Russia’s lower house State Duma.

“We value highly our relations with France and try to maintain good relations with incumbent government and the opposition,” Putin explained.

“I am, of course, aware of the ongoing election campaign in France. In no case do we want to influence the events as they unfold, but we reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of all political forces in France, just like our partners in Europe and the United States are doing.”

“Of course, it would be very interesting to exchange opinions with you on our bilateral relations and the situation in Europe.” 

“I know that you represent a European political force that is growing quickly. I am very pleased to see you.”

Le Pen: “Thank you, Mr. President. As you know, I have long been urging the restoration of cultural, economic and strategic ties between Russia and France, which is especially important now when we face a serious terrorist threat.”

“The fight against terrorism can only be truly effective if the largest nations stand side by side and join forces.”

Scoundrel media criticism of Le Pen’s followed her visit. The New York Times said it came “at a time (Putin was) accused of meddling in Western elections through computer hacking and…promot(ing) fake news,” - despite no credible evidence proving spurious accusations.

The Washington Post published an AP report unjustifiably claiming Trump’s triumph “emboldened the Kremlin,” adding:

“Embracing Le Pen is part of (its) efforts to reach out to nationalist and anti-globalist forces to build up its influence in the West and help overcome the strains in relations with the US and the European Union.”

“Le Pen’s anti-immigration and anti-EU platform appeals to the Kremlin.” Vilifying her aims to prevent her chance of becoming France’s next president. Portraying her as a “Putin stooge” may or may not work.

Fox News called her meeting with Putin part of Moscow’s effort to court “far-right parties in Europe in an influence-building campaign (to counter) friction between Russia and the West.”

CNN criticized her anti-EU, anti-NATO, pro-Russia views. “Controversial presidential candidate meets with Putin,” headlined one of its reports.”

Reuters quoted French broadsheet Le Monde, saying Putin “anointed” Le Pen.

London’s Guardian said “a surprise (Putin/Le Pen meeting in Moscow will) likely reignite fears in Europe about Russian support for the European far right.”

Last year, French satirical publication Le Canard Enchaine urged US intelligence agencies to investigate Le Pen’s Russia connections.

She publicly acknowledged receiving a $9.8 million loan from a Russian bank because French ones refused financial help - nothing improper about what she did.

Trump, Le Pen, and other so-called right-wing populist politicians are considered incompatible with “Western values.”

Mainstream parties in Western countries are responsible for endless wars of aggression, crushing neoliberal pain and suffering, along with police state harshness targeting nonbelievers.

Nothing in prospect in America or Europe suggests any change for the better ahead regardless of what parties and leaders govern. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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